Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Rabbit Holes With Randy - 1871 Birth Record for Maria Loreta Cerasoli in Capestrano, Italy on FamilySearch

 After writing Rabbit Hole Genealogy Fun - Death Record of Irene Albina Marano in Capestrano, Italy last week, I decided that I had so much fun doing it that I would make it a weekly event (if I can find the time or remember to go down a rabbit hole).  So welcome to "Rabbit Holes With Randy." 

I spent about two hours on this rabbit hole today, and successfully found the birth record for my grandsons' 2nd great-grandmother, Maria Loreta Cerasoli (1871-1940).  I only had information about her from several online family trees.  Those trees said she was born in Capestrano, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy in 1871, married in 1895 in Capestrano to Giuseppe "Joseph" DeMilio (1870-1930), migrated to the USA, settled in Iron county, Michigan, and died there, leaving nine children including my grandsons' great grandmother, Clara DeMilio (1911-2012).  

Since Maria was born in 1871, the records for her birth and her marriage are not in the State Archives records posted on the Antenati Portale website - they cover 1809-1865 and 1911-1943.  So Antenati will not have Maria's birth record or marriage record.

I searched for information about Capestrano and L'Aquila state on Wikipedia, Google Maps, the FamilySearch Wiki, and the FamilySearch Catalog today.  

Luckily, the FamilySearch Catalog has the Civil Registers for the years 1866 to 1944 in digital microfilm available to me at home.  The earlier years (1809-1865) are on digital microfilm but I can only view them at a FamilySearch Center.  Here is the Catalog entry for the Capestrano records:

The red sentence near the bottom of the image says that the "Records of Italy, L'Aquila, Civil Registration (State Archive) are available online, click here."  When I clicked "here" I got the indexed database for the collection, but it is missing 1866 to 1910.  

In addition, this database had no entries from Capestrano for any year.  

So back to the "rest of the page" in the Catalog:

Note that the data for 1809 to 1865 have the camera with the key over it, meaning I cannot see those records at home and need to go to the FamilySearch Library to access them.  

At the bottom of the page are the later years:

The records from 1866 to 1910 are available to me at home.  The 1871 birth data is in the "Nati, publicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1866-1887" collection on Film number 2013834, Items 2-6.

The digital microfilm for this film has 3,100 images, and I want Item 2 on this film.

The first Item on the film was for another L'Aquila town, and Item 2 was the birth records. 

Luckily, I discovered that each year of the Birth records had an index in the back of each register, so for 1871 it looks like this:

The second entry from the bottom in the left column lists "Cerasoli Maria Loreta" with number 67 in the 1871 birth register.

I browsed back to image 697 and saw Maria's birth record near the bottom of the left-hand page continuing to the top of the right-hand page (  

I can't read the Italian but I can pick out the child's name, the birth date of 18 August 1871, and the parents names of Carlo Cerasoli (son of Emidio) and Albina Marano (daughter of Giandomenico).

I saved the record to my computer files, and then crafted the source:

"Registri dello stato civile dir Capestrano (L'Aquila), 1809-1910," FamilySearch ( : accessed 6 December 2021), original book, "L'Aquila > Capestrano > Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1866-1887," Anno 1871, Registro de Nati, image 697 of 3100, No. 67, Maria Loreta Cerasoli birth entry; also on FamilySearch Microfilm 2,013,834, Item 2.

For some reason the FamilySearch created source citation (on the "Information" tab on the image above, not shown) has a different image number:

"Italia, L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Stato Civile (Tribunale), 1824-1910," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), L'Aquila > Capestrano > Nati, pubblicazioni, matrimoni, morti 1866-1887 > image 516 of 2919; Tribunale di L'Aquila (L'Aquila Court, L'Aquila).

The FamilySearch permanent link goes to the same record in a second FamilySearch digital microfilm set.  The image URLs are the same up to the ? in the URLs.

Now that I found that FamilySearch has the birth, marriage and death records for 1809 to 1944, I can do more searching here, although Antenati has a search facility for 1809 to 1865 and 1911 to 1943. 

So this was another fun escape into the rabbit hole of genealogy research and I had a lot of fun doing it.  I'm going to demonstrate this process to the CVGS Research Group on Wednesday.


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Unknown said...

Thanks for the tip. I have only used Antenati for my research in Italy. I owe to see, if I can find more on Family Search. Annick H.

Susanne Paradis said...

Thank you for posting “Rabbit Holes with Randy” and showing us your methodology. Adding that you spent two hours on this helps too. Did you decide to see what you could find out in two hours or was that just how long thIs effort took?

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Susanne,

It took "only" two hours, but I know what I'm doing with FamilySearch digital microfilm. A first-time effort would take longer. A beginning researcher would be confused since there is no index for many of these records.

Sometimes my rabbit hole adventures take only 15 minutes or so, but then it takes longer than that to write it up. Showing the methodology is why I write the blog posts. I used this rabbit hole to demonstrate doing it to my society colleagues in a Zoom meeting too. So there's method to my madness.

Jacqi Stevens said...

I think you've stumbled upon a hit with "Rabbit Holes with Randy"! Rabbit trails can certainly lead to valuable discoveries. Looking forward to reading about more of your latest conquests.